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article imageReview: ‘Ted 2’ hasn’t grown up as much as it thinks, which isn’t all bad Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jun 26, 2015 in Entertainment
‘Ted 2’ isn’t entirely successful in integrating a more serious plot into its inherently silly storyline, but it doesn’t let that compromise its ability to deliver an expected style of comedy.
Many children wished their favourite toy was alive and often pretended it was living while playing, but apparently only one little boy won that lottery: John Bennett animated his stuffed bear, Ted. Obviously you can’t discard a self-aware toy as you would others, so John and Ted grew up together to become beer-drinking, pot-smoking slackers. Best friends and “thunder buddies” for life, the two are there for each other through thick and thin. And in Ted 2, it gets pretty thin.
Ted (voice of Seth MacFarlane) is getting married to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). It’s been several years since the events of the first picture. John (Mark Wahlberg) is divorced and a year into their marriage, Ted and Tami-Lynn appear to be heading in the same direction. But the sage cashier who works the checkout counter next to Ted’s advises him that the key to saving his relationship is a baby. However the process of having a child is far more complicated than one would think and opens an unexpected can of worms: the State doesn’t recognize Ted as a person. On the verge of losing everything, Ted hires a fresh-out-of-school civil rights lawyer, Samantha Leslie Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), to sue for his personhood.
The basic line on this film is if you liked the first picture, you’ll probably like this one. In spite of the high drama plot summary, it still consists mainly of a series of punch lines connected by the serious issue of discrimination being taken to the courts. These contrasting narratives don’t really complement each other, effectively sinking the boisterous mood each time any legal proceedings take the screen. Yet the two independent ideas combine for a rollercoaster film, which finds a way to transition between vulgarity and formality without entirely halting the flow. However, the incorporation of a third storyline involving the Tiffany-loving Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) from the first picture and the head of Hasbro is asking too much of an already stretched script. The only thing more out of place in the writing is a full-length acoustic performance by Seyfried’s character.
The one surprise is they managed to keep most of the film’s funnier jokes out of the trailer, which is a feat considering some of the spoilers to appear recently. This may be attributed to most of the comedy being NSFW (not safe for work), but regardless of the reason it allows the humour to play fresh and consequently get the hearty laughs for which they endeavour. From an assault on people who exercise to a running gag about porn on the Internet to a peculiar strain of marijuana to the plentiful prospects presented bullies at a comic convention, writer/director MacFarlane seizes every opportunity for a gag.
It’s those funny moments that really showcase the chemistry between Wahlberg and MacFarlane, who effortlessly display a deep camaraderie and embrace even the most over-the-top moments in their already absurd friendship. When compared to the first film, their performances are on par with what audiences would expect. On the other hand, rather than attempt to fill the shoes of Mila Kunis’ straighter, more responsible female character, Seyfried is portrayed as John’s equal with less of a potty-mouth and more brains. There are also a number of guest appearances from a range of (male) celebrities, including Liam Neeson (who does a fantastic impression of himself), John Slattery, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Stewart (as the narrator), Tom Brady, Jay Leno (who really leaves his ego at the door), Jimmy Kimmel, and Sam Jones (a.k.a. The Flash) who returns for the sequel.
Is it stupid? Absolutely. But it’s also pretty funny, which is the best kind of stupid.
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane and Amanda Seyfried
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